Is this a suitable BC for underwater photography / videography? Does it travel well?
The ScubaPro Classic is the ultimate BC for learning to dive and the surround bubble that flows in all directions makes it much easier than a back inflate to control your buoyancy. I purchased one recently as a backup to the original I bought in 1992 and still use today. IT is awesome for photography once you have your bouncy properly adjusted. However, these are heavier, high capacity BCD and this makes it a bit harder to travel by air due to weight restrictions. I find this a good tradeoff and still prefer this BCD.
I have found that it fits well, and I get good stability for photography. I tend to dive very light-I will trade thermal comfort for less lead; I don't usually have a lot of air in the BC- take that into consideration about photography. It is pretty bulky, and takes up more room in the dive bag than I would like. Also, given the 50 lb weight restriction on bags which most airlines have now it takes up more weight than desirable. I also miss detachable shoulder straps. It can be a struggle to get this on and off, especially when on a crowded boat. I am looking to replace it with a lighter travel BC because of the bulk and weight issues. But it is well made, a good BC for local diving and very comfortable in the water. I got it because it was the "coolest" BC when i started diving. When I started using it it dawned on me that there have been improvements in BC design in the last 20 years.
easy to achieve excellent buoyancy with the 2 small pockets on the back & the "jacket" design provides really good stability. A little bit bulky for travel but that is due to the better material its made from so its worth it.
I'm been flying with this BCD twice so far and I have no complaints. It doesn't pack down so tight like some of the travel specific models out there, but it dries quickly, and is built like a tank. I was shooting video and had d-rings to spare for equipment and what-not. I'm not a pro photographer, but this met my needs well. The pockets are not all that big, and the integrated weights take up some space that might otherwise hold camera gear, but the comfort and stability of the jacket under water made up for any lack of storage. At the price I got it for, I consider it a steal. Hope that helps!
My name is Dave and I really like the Classic plus it would be great for photography/video you stay balance underwater perfectly and its very comfortable in the water and have a handle in the top of the bcd it travel well but it is a little heavy for suitcase but it is worth it .I really love and Leisure Pro has a great price on it .Good Luck with your choice!
Dave from S.F. Ca.
I do not ues a video camera but this bcd gives you great stability and balance no matter what position your body is in. It is not the lightest bcd out their but if weight is not an issue for you it is extremely well constructed and will hold up to the roughest of bag handlers.
YES i have been to Australia 3 times in last 3 years.
It Travels well being one piece less to break,easy on and off,
Sits well on you, and if you need to take it on and off under water its to easy. Been using one for about 20years.Hope this helps Woody
Hi, I live in Los Angeles and do underwater photography in the Philippines and Indonesia. I had a ScubaPro Classic BCD but it was heavy and stiff and I returned it. My BCD now is an Aeris Caribbean, which is fine as it is somewhat light and has reasonable pockets and attachment points. My housing is an Aquatica which is heavy so I attach it with a safety lanyard to the vest.
I am an avid diver, but not a photographer. I have had nohting but a positive experience in this BC, I've been able to stop and hover for extended periods without dificulty, which I think is a necessary prerequisite for undewater photography.
The BC does travel well. I put it in my gear bag, which becomes checked luggage for air travel. I have had no problems there. I recommend opening the shoulder and/or hip dump valves to get any accumulated seawater water out, just to lighten your load.
This is a great BC and I have never regretted it.
Hope this helps.
This is Robert her Husband, and I am the one who dives with a classic.... The scubapro classic in my opinion is the BEST all around BC ever made. It is excellent for photography/videography, or any other type of diving in any water conditions. The biggest plus to this BC is it has "wrap around" inflation meaning you arent pushed over onto your face when you inflate it. It has planty of pockets and D-rings to attach camera equipment. As for traveling, it is SLIGHTLY more bulky than a few other models, but it more than makes up for it in performance. I had to settle for a Scubapro Equator when we just bought new BC's because I couldn't find a Classic plus in my size. But my last Classic plus lasted 20 years.
This should not be a first BC. It is a true vest type and there is no shoulder strap adjustment. Sized properly it will not hang on you, and you should be able to roll and turn with ease. Too small, or you gain weight and it could become difficult to donn and doff. It has rear pockets for weights. I still put a pound on each shoulder (jerry rigged) for balance, as I use a high volume mask . This is not a design defect. WRT videography, it has never hampered me. My other BC is a Sherwood semi-technical type with bigger pockets and more adjustments, but it is baggy and shifts. You will not carry much in the ScubaPro pockets. It is rugged, and somewhat heavier than the "travel BCs" on the market. The back plate is substantial and has a handle built in which makes it easy to carry. You should be able to run your hoses and gages to keep everything tucked in without much trouble. I wouldn't be troubled at all recommending it, as I like it, but ideally you would try one on to make sure it fits.
This is my second Scubapro Classic Plus jacket-style BCD. The only reason I replaced the previous one is that the weight pouches on it were Velcro only and the Velcro began to get weak. I need to have a seamstress or someone sew new Velcro or mount clamps on it, which the new one has.
I like the BCD a lot. It's comfortable and stable. If you're doing photography and want to be able to roll over on your back and film straight up, this is an excellent choice.